Harry Potter and the da Vinci book of Sudoku

The really weird part about a title combining Harry Potter with Da Vinci and Suduko is that there's an open source context in which the linkage makes some sense - but only in part - and that's an open source alternative success too.

The title above comes from a google group posting by fellow zdnet blogger Zack Whittaker suggesting that titles have a lot to do with page reads - the basis on which zdnet gets paid by advertisers.

My use of the title is, however, intended to do something else: illustrate my belief that most people, technical or otherwise, are far more diligent, and far more willing to think for themselves, than most commentators, politicians, and television programmers think.

Originally my title for this was going to be "setup.exe" to reflect another, older, controversy among zdnet bloggers about earning page views by playing to, or against, simple minded positions - as in Jason Perlow's partial takedown of Adrian Kingsley-Hughes's astonishingly well researched and objective praise for Microsoft's application installation process - because I suspect that the Kingsley-Hughes stuff might exemplify the setup part and comments like the redoubtable Whitehorn's cri de coeur ( "In three days I went back to bare metal five times before everything was present and correct") the execution.

In reality things are more complicated - and one of the marvels of the internet is that I don't need to know a word of whatever language is used on *.ee - because google does, and google reveals an estonishing link there between Potter, Da Vinci, Sudoku, and setup.exe: specifically the word "osalt" occurs on dot ee in discussions of each of these. What it means, apparently, is "partially" or "in part", and while that's not terribly meaningful in terms of linking Mr. Potter to Da Vinci, it does add depth to the word's use in English as an acronym for Open Source Alternative.

The oslat.com site's mission is to list open source alternatives to legacy commercial applications - virtually none of which install using setup.exe and nearly all of which provide, in whole or in part, the functionality promised by their proprietary counterparts.

All of which brings me back to the original intent of this comment: to point out that lots of people have the integrity and commitment to brave the complexities of the typical Linux two step install procedure just to avoid paying out their employer's money to license stuff that installs itself via setup.exe - but often does so at the cost of effectively de-installing something else in just exactly the same way a child playing Sudoko for the first time will usually find each new guess confounding an earlier one.